I have been very short of time, but a few things have been bothering me so I thought I'd fire off some emails to States Members and then wait for the response (if any). They are:
The JEC's Enormous Price Hike
Email to Alan Breckon:
Dear Senator Breckon, I voted for you and I am hoping that you will take an interest in the enormous hike in charges by the JEC. As this company is mainly owned by the States, I believe a States Member should intervene and seek to stop the proposed 24% increase. It is no excuse that there have been no price rises for the last two years. The JEC, in my opinion, has failed to embrace renewable technologies, and now we are at the mercy of the French nuclear companies. I heard a spokesman on BBC radio Jersey explain the enormous price rise by infrastructure costs, and even the weakness of the pound. Well, the profit made last year could cover a great deal of the costs, and as for the argument concerning the weakness of the pound - the price rise was proposed before that even occurred! I have a blog, ratleskutle.com , and might publish your reply.
Wasteful Energy Use of St Helier and Light Pollution
I emailed the Constable of St Helier, asking about light pollution; one particular light was bothering me. This was the reply
Emails to/from Constable Crowcroft (starting in July):
Hello, the Connetable has forwarded your comments to me, I trust the following is helpful. Street lighting is paid for on a contract basis, and the turning off of one (or 100) will make no difference to the bill we pay. The issue of turning off lamps for light pollution reasons is an interesting one, and we have recently written to the emergency services to gauge their view. It may be of interest to you to note that we seldom receive requests to turn off street lamps, but have regularly calls to increase lighting in poorly lit areas or those with non existent lighting. In addition, when street lamps are off because of a fault it is usually no more than a couple of days before residents want to know when it will be repaired! I think the current indication is that we would receive more complaints about a lamp which was removed than compliments on the savings made, however, we await the comments from the emergency services before making major decisions on this matter.
Regards John Stievenard ICIOB ABEngAssistant Director Technical & Environmental Services
And my reply to him:
Hello. Thanks for your reply. I didn't know about the arrangement for payment of lighting. However, if 1 or 100 lights are turned off there will be a cost and energy saving somewhere. Should that not be part of a government's responsibility, even if it doesn't directly affect the Parish's accounts? As for light pollution, every light turned off makes a difference. Ref: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/yourenv/eff/1190084/pollution/152227/ Sadly, I agree with your comments regarding the public's desire for street lighting. They may be a life saver in towns, but even on a road normally deserted by pedestrians from dawn til dusk, my own experience is that people generally seem to want the damn things! Of course, there may be a silent majority, or at least as many people, who do not want them. However, should government, even at parish level, not take responsibility and act as leaders rather than purely representatives of public desire? If the parish wants to cut energy usage/reduce pollution, then turning off lights which are on quiet, out of town roads, is a sensible course of action. As a regular runner in the early morning darkness ( or rather in the gloom of street lamps), I'd much rather see a real dawn than the lights switching off for morning. The level of street lighting is inappropriate for this area, which I'd suggest is in category E2 Environmental zone. Ref: http://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/neighbourhood-nuisance/light-pollution/ Please give this matter some consideration
And the reply from Simon Crowcroft:
thanks. I'll see this gets the attention it merits and revert to you in due course.rgdsSimon
And my email today:
hello simon. i wondered if you can tell me if this matter has been considered? in the interests of energy conservation will the parish be examining how much energy it is consuming? i have a blog now, ratleskutle.com , and i might publish your reply. regards and best wishes for christmas.
Treatment of Court Defendants/Prisoners with Mental Illness
Email to Senator le Marquand:
Dear Senator Le Marquand, congratulations on your election to the States! I am writing to you regarding Jersey's court system and certain recent cases, which I have found disturbing. There appears to be a lack of recognition of defendants' mental health problems. Recent cases have included a woman who believes she is controlled by a nine year old girl wearing a diving mask; the court was instructed not to take account of her mental illness. Also, a man has been brought to court several times this year for removing all his clothes in public places; he has been sent to prison, I could not see any account of help available for him in the JEP's report. I would be interested to know your views. I have a blog, ratleskutle.com , and may wish to publish your reply.